The Price of PS5 Titles Is a Sign the Dark Ages of Video Games Are Upon Us

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

Nov. 12 2020, Published 9:10 p.m. ET

why are ps games
Source: Sony

In the olden days of video games, cartridges reigned supreme. Sure, they may have looked cooler — you can't deny there was something undeniably more tangible about holding a big clunky plastic cartridge in your hands. But they were also way more expensive, and a lot of that had to do with production and manufacturing costs of games. But with the advent of CDs, the prices of games went down, but they've slowly been creeping up again, and folks wants to know why PS5 games are $70.

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Why are PS5 games $70? Increased development costs, Sony says.

There's been a great deal of poorly-coded shovelware that made its way to gamers' shelves over the years, and sadly under their Christmas trees or festively-packaged birthday gift-wraps. Licensed franchise titles were usually pieces of garbage — it was pretty much a rule in the OG days of gaming that if a game was based off of a popular comic book series, cartoon, or movie, it was probably awful.

This was mainly due to the fact that tech companies were looking for a quick cash grab and they spent all of their money on the licensing fees associated with making the title. There's no reason that the poorly-coded and sub-par products like the original X-Men on Sega Genesis, Jaws for NES, or Superman 64 for the Nintendo 64 should've cost more than $10 a pop, and even then that was pushing it.

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why are ps games  dollars
Source: Sony

But there are massive teams of programmers that design and develop titles these days. Video gaming is an over $100 billion industry globally spread across PC, mobile, and console platforms.

Big, exclusive titles that "define" consoles and become the primary reason for their purchase require a lot of investment and time to get done just right. Imagine if Halo was buggy when it came out on the first Xbox?

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God of War for PS4, for example, cost a whopping $200 million to produce, but it paid off for the manufacturer, as the title sold over 10 million units. Grand Theft Auto 5 has sold 130 million units to date worldwide, and cost $265 million to produce.

Those two titles were $60 a pop and cost a pretty penny, but nothing that even comes close to Destiny's production cost: $500 million.

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With technology becoming more and more advanced and gamers demanding more from their high-powered consoles like the PlayStation 5 and new Xbox Series X and S, costs for making top-tier titles are going to skyrocket. Nintendo keeps their production costs for games intentionally vague as they have a number of employees on salary and then assign them to specific projects, unlike other game developers who usually hire employees on a per project basis.

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The PS5 hasn't released any "big-gun" exclusive titles yet, and the largest title to probably come out on the console now is Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which some view as a fully-fleshed out expansion pack of the popular PS4 title. MM has been praised by gamers and critics alike as being visually stunning and amazingly fun to play. However, does that mean that every game coming out now for the PS5 cost $70?

Not exactly. The Pathless is $50 which is currently only out for PS5. Bugsnax is also only $25. But if you wanted to play MM on the PS5, you're gonna have to shell out $70. Is it worth it? Well, look at the comparisons to its PS4 counterpart and you be the judge.

It needs to be mentioned that there's a bunch of stuff going on with the PS5 version the PS4 title just doesn't have — native 4k playability (in fidelity mode), a locked framerate, ray tracing everywhere, ridiculous surface mapping. It's just so pretty.

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